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WNBA Teams See Increase In Ticket Sales After Caitlin Clark Announces Plans To Enter Draft

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NEW YORK — Soon after Caitlin Clark declared her intention to enter the WNBA draft, the Indiana Fever’s ticket offices became significantly busier.

“We’ve seen a lot of enthusiasm online and on social media,” Pacers Sports and Entertainment told The Associated Press. “The organization has also seen the enthusiasm lead to a spike in ticket inquiries.”

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WNBA Teams See Increase In Ticket Sales After Caitlin Clark Announces Plans To Enter Draft

The Fever will not say how many tickets they have sold. Still, selecting Iowa star Clark with the first overall pick in the draft might benefit the team, which finished second-to-bottom in attendance last season, averaging 4,067 people at home games.

“It’s Clarkonomics,” basketball expert Deb Antonelli explained. “Her ability to move the meter and create enthusiasm around her is amazing. “It’s socially acceptable to watch Caitlin Clark play basketball.”

Antonelli worked with the Fever for 18 years and believes the only thing that matched the euphoria around Clark’s No. 1 overall pick was the team’s march to the WNBA championship 2012.

Clark, a senior with the Hawkeyes, has set multiple records this season and is on track to become the highest-scoring player in men’s or women’s NCAA history. Her deep 3-point shots and ballhandling abilities have sparked unparalleled interest in women’s basketball.

The draft comes on April 15, and the Fever intimated on social media that they intend to select her.

Fans were attempting to obtain tickets not only in Indiana but also elsewhere. In Connecticut, approximately 800 tickets were sold in 24 hours for the Suns’ season opener against the Fever on May 14. That matched the total number of individual tickets sold for the game up to that date, excluding the team’s 2,500 season ticket holders.

“We typically have bumps in ticket sales for league rivals, reigning champions, and of course when former Huskies come to town,” Connecticut Sun President Jennifer Rizzotti told the Associated Press. “This could be the first time a non-UConn player has sparked this level of interest from our fans.” We understand that Caitlin will be on the Indiana roster, and it’s been incredible to see the buzz over the last 24 hours around her first WNBA game here in Connecticut.”

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WNBA Teams See Increase In Ticket Sales After Caitlin Clark Announces Plans To Enter Draft

Many WNBA teams have yet to sell individual game tickets, but Fever games are expected to sell well. Clark and Iowa have sold out nearly all their away games over the past two seasons. Tickets for her regular-season home finale versus No. 2 Ohio State on Sunday were some of the most expensive in women’s college basketball history.

“I’ve never seen a player with this impact on the road or in the ratings,” ESPN analyst Rebecca Lobo stated. “The first year of the league there was hype around Lisa (Leslie), Sheryl (Swoopes) and me with a lot of commercials, but there wasn’t the hype where people could watch us play like there has been with Caitlin.”

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WNBA Teams See Increase In Ticket Sales After Caitlin Clark Announces Plans To Enter Draft

Las Vegas, which topped the league in attendance last year and has already sold over 8,000 season tickets, has sold another 300 since Clark’s statement.

ESPN has yet to finalize its broadcast schedule, and the network aired just one Indiana game last season. Expect that figure to climb this year. Clark’s games have received record viewership on six networks in the last two years.

SOURCE – (AP)

Kiara Grace is a staff writer at VORNews, a reputable online publication. Her writing focuses on technology trends, particularly in the realm of consumer electronics and software. With a keen eye for detail and a knack for breaking down complex topics, Kiara delivers insightful analyses that resonate with tech enthusiasts and casual readers alike. Her articles strike a balance between in-depth coverage and accessibility, making them a go-to resource for anyone seeking to stay informed about the latest innovations shaping our digital world.

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Rick Tocchet Voted NHL’s Coach Of The Year For Guiding Vancouver Canucks To Pacific Division Title

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Rick Tocchet | Last Word Image

NEW YORK — Rick Tocchet was named NHL coach of the year Wednesday after leading the Pacific Division champion Vancouver Canucks to their second playoff appearance in nine years.

Tocchet appeared on 109 of 114 Jack Adams award ballots submitted by NHL Broadcasters’ Association members, receiving 82 first-place votes, according to the NHL. He became the Canucks’ third coach to win the award, following Pat Quinn in 1992 and Alain Vigneault in 2007.

Nashville’s Andrew Brunette finished second. He appeared on 57 ballots and received eight first-place votes. Winnipeg’s Rick Bowness finished third. He announced his retirement this month.

Tocchet

Rick Tocchet | AP News Image

Rick Tocchet Voted NHL’s Coach Of The Year For Guiding Vancouver Canucks To Pacific Division Title

“This really is a team award, and I couldn’t have done any of this without the support of our staff and complete buy-in from the players,” Tocchet stated. “I am truly honored and humbled by this achievement and look forward to getting back to work this summer as we continue to work on improving our hockey team.”

In his first full season in Vancouver, Tocchet won the regular-season award two days after the Edmonton Oilers eliminated the Canucks in Game 7 of their second-round playoff series.

Tocchet, 60, led a stunning turnaround in a Canucks club that finished with a 50-23-9 record, the third-most victories in franchise history, and improved from 22nd to sixth in the overall standings last year. Vancouver led the NHL with a plus-38 first-period goal difference and went 42-1-4 while leading after two periods this season, up from 21-1-4 the previous year.

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Rick Tocchet | AP News Image

Rick Tocchet Voted NHL’s Coach Of The Year For Guiding Vancouver Canucks To Pacific Division Title

Tocchet had the advantage of gaining a head start in implementing his system and acquiring a feel for the Canucks after being hired in January 2023, when Bruce Boudreau was sacked with Vancouver at 18-25-3. The Canucks finished the season 20-12-4 under Tocchet, who was an NHL announcer before joining the team.

“Honestly, I don’t know if we would be in this situation. Who knows, but the 30 games were big for me,” Tocchet told The Associated Press last month, reflecting on the impact his departure as head coach last year had on Vancouver’s success this season.

Vancouver marks Tocchet’s third stop as a head coach. He previously spent four seasons with Arizona from 2017-21, during which time he went 125-131-34. He also went 53-69-26 with Tampa Bay from 2008 to 2010.

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Rick Tocchet | Pittsburg Sports Image

Rick Tocchet Voted NHL’s Coach Of The Year For Guiding Vancouver Canucks To Pacific Division Title

Tocchet won two more Stanley Cups as an assistant coach in 2016 and 2017 after winning one as a player for the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1992.

SOURCE – (AP)

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2-Time French Open Runner-Up Dominic Thiem Loses In Qualifying In Final Roland Garros Appearance

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Thiem | NDTV Image

PARIS — Dominic Thiem, a two-time runner-up, was knocked out in the second round of qualifying at the French Open.

Otto Virtanen defeated Dominic 6-2, 7-5 on Court Suzanne Lenglen, and Dominic will miss his 11th and final appearance in the clay-court Grand Slam main draw.

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Thiem | AP News Image

2-Time French Open Runner-Up Dominic Thiem Loses In Qualifying In Final Roland Garros Appearance

Dominic, who reached the Roland Garros finals in 2018 and 2019, revealed earlier this month that he will retire at the end of the year after struggling to regain peak form following a wrist injury.

Following his defeat, Dominic received a standing ovation during a goodbye ceremony, with chants of “Thank you Domi, Thank you Domi.”

Dominic, a former US Open champion, has plummeted to 131st in the rankings and failed to obtain a wildcard into the French Open. He didn’t keep a grudge.

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Thiem | The Times Image

2-Time French Open Runner-Up Dominic Thiem Loses In Qualifying In Final Roland Garros Appearance

“I slowly built up a great, great relationship with the tournament, relationship with all of you guys, with all fans,” stated Dominic. “I’ve really enjoyed every single year of it.”

The 30-year-old Austrian won his only Grand Slam at Flushing Meadows in 2020. Dominic defeated Alexander Zverev in five sets, becoming the first man in 71 years to recover a two-set deficit in a U.S. Open final.

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Thiem | Reuters Image

2-Time French Open Runner-Up Dominic Thiem Loses In Qualifying In Final Roland Garros Appearance

Dominic also finished second at the 2020 Australian Open, reaching a career-high No. 3 ranking that year. He remained in the top five until June 2021, when he hurt his right wrist, which kept him out for nine months and has hindered his playing ever since.

Dominic has a total of 17 titles.

SOURCE – (AP)

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Stenhouse Fined $75,000 By NASCAR, Busch Avoids Penalty For Post All-Star Race Fight

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Concord, North Carolina – NASCAR penalized Ricky Stenhouse Jr. $75,000 on Wednesday for clashing with Kyle Busch following the All-Star race at North Wilkesboro Speedway. Stenhouse’s father, who participated in the fray, was suspended indefinitely.

Busch was not penalized for his actions during the Sunday night race

The two collided on the first lap, and Busch appeared to intentionally destroy Stenhouse on the second lap. Stenhouse put his damaged Chevrolet in Busch’s pit stall, forcefully mounted the spotter’s ladder, and spoke with Busch’s crew members.

Stenhouse then stormed to his carrier, allowing his car to be taken to the pits.

NASCAR

NASCAR | AP News Image

Stenhouse Fined $75,000 By NASCAR, Busch Avoids Penalty For Post All-Star Race Fight

He also hinted that he’d return after the race to confront Busch. The two exchanged brief words before Stenhouse, dressed in shorts and a t-shirt, delivered a right hook to Busch, sparking a melee involving members of both teams. Stenhouse’s father, who has no association with the team, then confronted Busch, throwing fists.

On Wednesday, NASCAR banned Stenhouse mechanic Clint Myrick for eight races and engine tuner Keith Matthews for four races.

NASCAR

NASCAR | AP News Image

Stenhouse Fined $75,000 By NASCAR, Busch Avoids Penalty For Post All-Star Race Fight

Stenhouse has pledged to wreck Busch this Sunday in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

“Bring it,” Busch responded. “I suck as bad as you,” meaning that neither driver is having a fantastic season.

Neither driver has won any races this season. Busch is 13th in the points standings, while Stenhouse, a single-car team, is 26th.

Busch’s vehicle owner isn’t taking Stenhouse’s warning lightly, though. Richard Childress has threatened to fight Stenhouse if he gets near Busch’s car at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

NASCAR

NASCAR | AP News Image

Stenhouse Fined $75,000 By NASCAR, Busch Avoids Penalty For Post All-Star Race Fight

The Coca-Cola 600 is the longest Cup Series race of the season, so Busch and Stenhouse will have plenty of time to catch up on the 1.5-mile track. They will undoubtedly keep a close eye on the feuding drivers.

SOURCE – (AP)

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